USB drives are handy tools. However, in some instances, allowing other users to write onto these devices from your PC might not be a good idea. This is especially true when working with highly confidential data or intellectual property at work. Users of Windows XP with Service Pack 2 installed can disable writing to USB devices on their PCs.
First, open the Registry Editor by clicking Start on your taskbar and then clicking Run. Type regedit, and click OK to start the regedit utility.
In the regedit utility, expand HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Control.
From there, right-click and create a new key. Name it StorageDevicePolicies. In the window on the right, create a new DWORD value and label it WriteProtect. Give it a value of 1. Now, users can no longer write to USB drives. To re-enable this option, change the value to 0, and users will again be allowed to write.
The modifications you made will be in effect after you reboot your PC.